UPDATE! This is Where Star Wars: Episode 7 is Being Filmed Right Now!

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Intentionally or not, the officially revealed image on Instagram with the Episode 7 clapperboard from the first day of filming had a geolocation enabled. And the coordinates point to that place (green arrow) on the image above (cluck the image for bigger version). Yep, that’s Abu Dhabi…

Just discovered that the Star Wars Ep VII Instagram teaser pic had geolocation enabled. Location? Abu Dhabi pic.twitter.com/72rupMhmmv
— Chris Kerns (@chriskerns) May 18, 2014

The coordinates can be found in the source code of the Instagram page with the photo. Too bad we can’t zoom in as much as we want. It’s really feels good watching the image and knowing where exactly the real magic happens. 🙂

Thanks to SHH member MagnarTheGreat for the great detective work.


You can see some images from around those coordinates here

The closest POI near those coordinates with an actual image from Google Maps  is this:  🙂

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Founder of SWNN, MNN and The Cantina forums.

Born on April 24, 1980.

Val Trichkov (Viral Hide)

Founder of SWNN, MNN and The Cantina forums.Born on April 24, 1980.

77 thoughts on “UPDATE! This is Where Star Wars: Episode 7 is Being Filmed Right Now!

  • May 19, 2014 at 8:38 am

    So, whoever is at Abu Dhabi on a buisness trip or holiday: Get a Jeep and go out there!

    • May 19, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      Oh boy – a field trip! (|}^;p

    • May 19, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      I’m actually moving to Abu Dhabi in August.. So frustrated that this shoot couldn’t have happened a few months later!!

    • May 20, 2014 at 1:36 am

      Hahahaha sucker!

  • May 19, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Very Cool!

    Now, let’s move to phase 2…


    • May 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      You tauntaun will sweat to death before you reach the first marker! 😛

    • May 19, 2014 at 3:05 pm

      Then I’ll see you in– ^_-

  • May 19, 2014 at 8:47 am

    lol next we’ll be deploying kamikaze photographers into the hot zone….

  • May 19, 2014 at 8:51 am

    You won’t even get anywhere near it so what’s the point!

    • May 19, 2014 at 10:09 am

      @Blue Comet
      Well yes, that’s how I got the first image. I thought it’s obvious. 🙂

    • May 19, 2014 at 11:05 am

      Yeah, I was trying to make it even more obvious 🙂

    • May 19, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      Is that really a picture from the exact coordinates?

    • May 19, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      Actually I checked it now. That image with the industrial buildings is not near the actual coordinates where the image was taken.

  • May 19, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Gooood now our spies will swarm the area !!

  • May 19, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Sex in the city 2 was mostly filmed in Abu Dhabi so I hope this new Star Wars movie is as good as that film was .

    • May 19, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      I guess Chewbacca must be Mr Big then.

  • May 19, 2014 at 11:37 am


    • May 19, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      My lord, there are so many uncharted settlements. It could be smugglers, it could be…

    • May 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm


    • May 19, 2014 at 1:00 pm


  • May 19, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Isn’t it possible that the photo was taken inside one of those many buildings? In which case, the actual outside filming could be taking place many miles from here.

  • May 19, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Fund my trip and I’ll walk right up to the production set…….

    We will test their security LOL. Anyways if I lived close enough to the location I would mos def try to breach the set m/

  • May 19, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    How do you see the coordinates in the photo ?

    • May 19, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      Click on the link I gave after the Update. You can see plenty of images there. When you click on a certain image you can see the coordinates below.

    • May 19, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      Thank you but I asked about the Instagram photo

    • May 19, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      It’s in the source code of the page with the photo.

    • May 19, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      Can’t find them… but thanks ^^’

  • May 19, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    hmmm maybe that’s the Dune Sea that Luke said obi-wan lived near. Would be pretty cool if we see Luke living in old-ben’s house.

    • May 19, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      I could be wrong, but I always got the impression that the Dune Sea was just that. Dunes, no water. Just a sea of sand.

    • May 19, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      hmm wookipedia says the dune sea was just a sea of dunes. I always thought it was an actual sea, a play on words.

    • May 19, 2014 at 3:11 pm

      Would you need moisture farming if there was a giant sea nearby?

    • May 19, 2014 at 4:20 pm

      I’ve read a lot of dumb ideas on this site but I like that one… It would give Luke a good reason to go back… maybe if Obi-Wan had something important that they might need… who knows though. Although if I’m not mistaken, weren’t they already at Obi-Wan’s house in episode IV?

  • May 19, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Would somebody deploy a drone made of lightweight lucite, so it’s invisible, to those coördinates STAT? Thank you. And live long & prosper.

    • May 19, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      I actually worry that maybe this will make JJ think twice before showing us twitter pics haha. But yeah this is the kind of stuff I’d prefer not to see unless we get official shots from the set. I hope we do get one soon though!

  • May 19, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    That location looks stunning. Could do so much there. Possibly some underwater filming? Seems to be a marine conservation area. Great twin sunset potential. Also, although I agree that a ‘dune sea’ is made of sand, I’d love to see some ocean or coastal scenery in the new film. As far as I recall, the only proper ocean we saw in the PT was the attack on Kashyyyk?

  • May 19, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Yeah any pix pulled from google map will be OLD…….
    It’s not like google updates their map pix any where near as much as we get updates from here 🙁

  • May 19, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Send a drone

  • May 19, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    AT-AT’s on a beach? Or maybe they’re coming out of the sea/some sort of hybrid that is able go go under water? Can you picture an AT-AT rising from the ocean?

    • May 19, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      You know how you heard the thundering footsteps of the coming AT-AT’s just before the battle of Hoth? Imagine hearing that and seeing huge ripples in the ocean.

      Our heroes are enjoying a nice vacation on the beach, sipping blue milk and sun bathing. Then suddenly, thump! thump! thump!

    • May 19, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      BTW – Kothlis is the name of the planet in that picture:

      Kothlis Description:

      The world was largely oceanic with many scenic islands, covered in palm trees and dotted with beaches. Many of these islands were grouped together in atolls. The water in some places was shallow enough for AT-ATs to wade through.

      Sounds legit.

    • May 19, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      the pics of the location really feel like Kothlis in rogue leader. Btw, there is a story link about the death star… maybe some kind of copy of the plan will be there ? ^^

    • May 19, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      It’s an idea but I highly doubt JJ will use a video game as his source for a planet in the film. I know Lucas wrote an outline for the sequel trilogy which seemed to have been detailed enough to describe new worlds… so I’m guessing JJ uses that as his source. I suppose it’s possible that Lucas used Kothlis in both the outline and games but it doesn’t seem like the most original of worlds to be honest.

    • May 19, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      I would agree with you that JJ wouldn’t write it – however Simon Kinberg of Pablo Hildago could look at JJ’s script draft and say “yeah, we have a planet like that in the Star Wars Universe and it is ________ and it was it was utilized in _____ way.” It would be a great way to take bits and pieces from the EU and show them on screen. That being said, who knows, and maybe it will be an all new planet. I certainly don’t see it being Tatooine though, that would be lame.

    • May 19, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      Noooooooooo I thought the EU stuff was done. I watched the video from rogue squadron and the planet just looked very boring… the battle was interesting to see but I mean one of the points of Star Wars is to show exotic planets. Based on what Dale Pollock said regarding the new worlds in the sequel trilogy is that they were “really interesting”. It seems the outline was detailed enough to describe the new worlds so I’d bet JJ is using that as his sole source… assuming he is working off the outline (which I’d say is a pretty good bet given that Lucas is a “consultant”)

      I’m not sure that I agree returning to Tatooine would be lame. I mean it’s pretty much in every star wars movie and I’m sure that *if* they do go back JJ wouldn’t make it a boring visit. I’m not the biggest fan of the Tatooine scenes in Episodes II and III… but in the other movies I think Tatooine provides nice contrast for outer space / coruscant/ naboo.

    • May 19, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      I don’t know why people think the EU stuff is “dead” of “done” – in the press release regarding the new canon it was obvious that still could use the EU as reference material and take pieces of it for future content. It’s right in the press release.

      I really don’t care if a planet is boring or exciting itself- as long as there is a decent reason in the script to be on the planet. I mean look at earth- it has a huge variety of habitats and yet it seems like each star wars planet is just one type of habitat that thats it- the prequels had a lot of interesting planets but Lucas failed to write anything that awesome to happen on them which made them bland. It all starts with the script-

      I really don’t care if the planet is there or not, i really like the set piece though- a downed star destroyer that the rebels need to retrieve information from- the visuals sound really compelling to me.

      reminds me of this great fan poster-

      Kothlis is a Bothan inhabited planet- I can see being curious to create that species-

    • May 19, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      You are kind of contradicting yourself-

      “I highly doubt JJ will use a video game as his source for a planet in the film.”

      “assuming he is working off the outline (which I’d say is a pretty good bet given that Lucas is a “consultant”) “

      ok, so in the first comment you imply abrams has free reigns, in the second he has to follow lucas’s lead- Lucas would actually be more likely to dip into the EU material to create a planet for an outline, he did that a ton in the clone wars.

      Sorry to be nitpicky.

    • May 19, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      If you watch interviews with JJ abrams you get a pretty good impression of what sort of guy he is and how he works. I don’t get the impression that he’s the sort of guy who sat around playing Star Wars games or whatever. In terms of “free reign” I wouldn’t put it that way… what I meant to say is that he wants it be authentic to Lucas’s early vision of SW, before all the EU clutter.

      That outline Dale Pollock read was written in the 80’s which for the most part predates the EU stuff, that’s what Lucas handed to Bob Iger, which in turn is what Abrams is working off of. That’s initially what I meant. I do like the EU games but I don’t want to see that stuff in the films, they were good for those games but fulfilled their purpose there. True, Lucas dips into EU for the clone wars but I didn’t like the Felloni clone wars… the environments look very boring in those shows, but I watch them anyway cuz I need my Star Wars fix.

      I know what you mean about the Earth’s habitats as being represented by planets in Star Wars. Yes, Tatooine is basically a giant version of Saudi Arabia but it was made to feel like an alien world with it’s binary suns and creatures/people/culture living there. But there were also un earth like environments… like Bespin, Degobah, coruscant, or anything that would have appeared in the Ralph McQuarrie art… I have a high standard for the environments we’ll be exposed to in the sequel films. I think JJ’s previous work is indicative of exotic environments too, as in Star Trek they went to great pains to make the planets feel exotic… like spending months building red leafed trees for the opening sequence of “Into Darkness”. Klingon homeworld and Vulcan homeworld are other good examples, very un-earth like in those films.

    • May 19, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      When you say George Lucas is a ‘consultant’, I hope that doesn’t mean he has an input into creating SW7 characters. Lucas will always be held in the highest regard, after all he’s the guy who gave us this marvellous universe of Jedi Knights and Sith Lords, but there’s no coming back after Jar Jar Binks. Especially when the prequels themselves were also pretty charmless and perfunctory. At least, that’s my opinion.

    • May 19, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      Good call Aras – def respect your comments-

      I also hope Abrams sticks to the fundamentals of the OT that he loved when he was a kid. I think that is actually where the show Rebels stems from- that being said, Clone Wars wasn’t always great but it definitely allowed us to see the huge world of star wars. At first glance Rebels seems to be a much smaller show, but I hope that isn’t the case.

      Just as an idea- I don’t love that Han Solo is set to have a “huge role” in SW7- While I’m glad he wasn’t killed off in SW6- Ford did have a legit reason to request that fate- Solo really didn’t have much to do in Return. They would have to make him a hugely interesting character to be able to pull off having a large role. I am absolutely in the camp of not caring if Lando and other supporting characters don’t return. It doesn’t make sense to just cram in legacy characters- especially when they are old and don’t have much to do-

    • May 19, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      Thanks, likewise… sorry if I say dick-ish things sometimes… I’m caught between a rock and a hard place often on the forums because I’m a hardcore OT fan who liked the prequels but hated them at the same time, for exactly the reason Anon @ 10:43 illustrates. I was a teenager in the 90’s so I played a lot of the great lucas arts games, but would rather have been a teenager watching new Star Wars trilogies in the late 80’s and early 90’s if that makes sense. Though Dark Forces & X wing were like holy grails for me, I spent many an hour mowing down storm troopers and tie fighters.
      As for the Clone Wars I agree that it was cool to see the embellished universe at work, which is why I watch it… what I really would have preferred would be to have the guy that did the clone wars Cartoon do that show instead… or if him and felloni could have worked together, because the battle scenes in the cartoon are way more epic, and very cleverly orchestrated.

      Anon @ 10:43 I think there is hope… because those treatments Lucas handed to Disney I’m fairly certain were written during the OT time period. The reason why I say this is because not long afterwards Lucas said repeatedly that he never intended to go back and finish VII thru IX, which means he probably wasn’t working on those stories throughout that time period… there is a complex history regarding that if you know what I mean. Bottom line anything conceptually written by Lucas pre 1988 = good. But Lucas won’t beable to Jar-Jar-ify the new films. I think Jar Jar could have worked in theory… but the execution is what made it terrible (nothing against ahmed best… not his fault). BTW… did you see this? (also check out lucas farewell to the fans linked video haha):


    • May 19, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      HaHa! Absolutely loved it. Thanks for the link. Can’t wait ’till they roast George Lucas.

  • May 19, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    I think we’ve already established the fact that it’s filming in Abu Dhabi.

    • May 19, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      I was thinking the same thing too… I actually worry that this will make JJ more hesitant in revealing info to us because that was some pretty good detective work. If he gives us a shot from the movie set… who knows… someone might be able to figure out way more than JJ wanted to divulge.

  • May 19, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Dangnabbit, I’m moving to Abu Dhabi in August!! And it looks like that will be after the end of the shoot!

    • May 19, 2014 at 9:02 pm

      I wouldn’t feel too bad… I lived in Chicago while they were filming the Dark Knight… though I saw no signs of a film being shot there.

    • May 20, 2014 at 2:55 am

      Darknight Gotham was filmed inside a giant Zepilon (however its spelt) hanger. I suppose they used Chicago for some filming.

    • May 20, 2014 at 3:55 am

      I reckognize a lot of the locations… I think the first movie had more chicago scenes but there was a substantial amount of them in the dark knight. Pretty much every scene that was outdoors aside from the China or boat sequences. That giant chase scene was lower wacker drive and there was a bunch of scenes filmed under the L tracks.

  • May 19, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    So what will this planet be? Which out of hundreds?
    Surely not Tatooine, with the water ‘n all…

  • May 20, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Unless if the camera is pointed in the opposite direction haha

  • May 20, 2014 at 1:38 am

    Amazing location, looks like something straight out a KOTOR game!

  • May 20, 2014 at 2:58 am

    Star wars 7 is a totally new script original. So that means no EU its dead…

    As for this location why does it have to be Tatoonie, I don’t think it has water….Or they wouldn’t farm water from the air.

    • May 20, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      It’s not dead i still have may books on the shelves and my video games on my hard drives.

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